To begin with, this is one of my most vulnerable posts…..I don’t share because I love to be vulnerable  (eeeek, lol)…., but I feel that as the church, we can be better at this….and I am discovering that what I am about to share with you could be a HUGE part of that for us. A game changer for your life, mine and the church as a flow on.

It has the probability of changing your experience of the world right around. It has the potential to free us all up from things that were planted long ago. It has the promise of  revolutionising marriages, developing better parents, better friends, better families, better relationships. Doesn’t that sound amazing!!! Well it is!!!

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But as with all good things, this can cost something. This process has cost me….It has cost me time. It has cost me pride. It has cost me energy at times. It has cost me emotion and inner tantrums. It has cost me old ways and old rhythms. It has forced me to take responsibility with God, for my responses and reactions. It has kept me accountable with God for my inner motives and heart workings.

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For those of you who have traveled with me,  you’ll know I’ve spent the past 7 years having everything changed around…..but the past 18 months have been the most changeable for me internally. At the ripe old age of 44, God’s been taking me on a journey of my inner self.

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You might ask yourself, what does that mean: Just one element of this has been self-awareness. Now, I’m not talking New Age kind of stuff here….but I am talking about a renewing of old ways and mindsets. It’s been a process of bringing current situations and my heart on a plate before Him.

You know the kinds of things I’m talking about…you’re in a conversation, someone says something that goes straight to your heart…OUCH….wounded, bleeding from within you stagger away, trying to self sooth along the way:

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“Oh my Lord, I feel so exposed and hurt….how can I stop the gush of life coming out from me right where the stab wounds are. My energy is gone.  I feel so exhausted. Why Lord.. this has gone so deep…will I ever recover from this…..

And then more questions as the thoughts within can go down a different route:

“What did they mean when they said that? What were they thinking?? Are they purposefully wanting to hurt me? What is wrong with them???? They don’t get it at all!!! Or me for that matter!!! Our relationship can’t possibly recover can it? How do we come back from this?”

Basically,  questioning when my emotional response outweighs the present interaction at hand.

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Blame. Shame. Victim. Self Pity. Denial. It’s triggered something deeper in me and traditionally it would’ve been about the other person and their motives, or on the flip side-taking ownership of all of it and carrying it.

Claiming things that weren’t true, mine or right. Well God decided that I’d done enough of that in my life.  He wanted to give me a reality check.

If you don’t recognise the hurt mentality, maybe the anger or flare up might be more to your liking, this is one that I’ve had inflicted upon me in friendship many, many times over.

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The person says their thing, and you snap back, responding snap internally for snap externally.

Sometimes becoming a person you don’t recognise. A person who often lives with regret as you realise that what came out in response might not have been equal to what had been said. Instead of the hurt response going inside and touching something tender, it comes out – and often through the mouth and at/into the innocent bystanders ears/heart.

The rage response seeks to cover over the tender parts that might be injured by broaching such things. Anger keeping it all protected inside. Self protection. It says things like,  “they are to blame. I’ve done nothing wrong. It’s their loss.. they’re the problem here…”

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Obviously there are many more ways we can respond to these instances.  Well these past 18 months have been an enforced journey of asking better questions when things like this happen….or at least trying to develop a capacity within to broach my own responses to interactions. Going on an honest journey with God about learning what is mine,  what is theirs and why I respond the way I do sometimes.

Taking note of those things that do send a sharp “PING” off inside. Or flashing lights that scream out “WARNING WARNING…..RUN AWAY, DO NOT BROACH THIS, IT MIGHT MAKE IT HURT WORSE.”

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This past year I was encouraged to adapt my thinking, to shift my focus.

The challenge was laid down…..

When someone triggers something within me, surely the question should be – What is going on inside here Father?

What is this interaction connecting with at a deeper level?

What’s wrong with me??? (Lol…my old usual response)

Why am I responding like this Lord?

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I’ve just shared openly with you about where my questioning would take me at times prior to last year…Ive been on the receiving end many times as well. It’s not a fun or easy thing to question the inner motive of the heart, the inner workings of decades of life memories, hurts, pains or events…conversations and circumstances with family, friends, bosses, leaders,…all contributing to our stockpile of memories and can I just also add – our triggers.

BUT, its necessary if we want to grow and move forward.  It’s vital if we want to have a voice rather than be at the whim of others or our past.

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There is hope in all of this.  Today is a brand new day and we get to love and serve a God who desires to redeem and pour life-giving balm into these inflamed inner parts. He desires us to have these areas brought to Him and submitted to Him.  Released to Him so that we are able to walk forward in freedom from the things that look to bind us.

I am learning that we “get to” exchange these old mindsets with the King,  for something fresh, honest and new. Something for our development, betterment and maturing.

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Will you dare to take up this encouragement in this season-to become more self-aware with God?

To enable and be aware of what God is highlighting to us?

To ask the question when triggers set us off, what is happening within me, what set me off? And allowing Jesus to connect the dots and bring a fresh new coat in exchange for the old one.

Doesn’t that sound amazing!

Can I just reassure you  that if you choose to take up this mission,  your life won’t be the same as you travel it.

Old wounds won’t just be patched up, but healed.

Old responses can be tweaked and honed in order to bring healthier reactions and interactions.

As we take ownership of what is ours, learning to walk in maturity with God in relationship with Him and others.

Can you see how this has the potential to impact your own life and those around you as well. A healthier, more whole individual helps to develop a healthier more whole church.  Doesn’t that sound wonderful? Don’t you want to be a part of this kind of church?

As for me, my answer is a resounding YES!

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God bless you so BIG!!!